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Jessica Mauboy

WENDELL SAILOR

BASED: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Wendell Jermaine Sailor (born 16 July 1974 in Sarina, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby football player who represented his country in both rugby league and rugby union – a dual code international. He is an Australian Torres Strait Islander. Sailor's large frame and bullocking style changed the way wingers played rugby league in the late nineties. His bigmoney move from the Brisbane Broncos to the Queensland Reds in 2001 created many headlines, as did his move at the end of the 2005 Super 12 season to the New South Wales Waratahs.

He has often attracted public attention during his career, none more so than in 2006 after the return of a positive drug test following the Waratahs v Brumbies match at Aussie Stadium on 16 April 2006. This put an end to his rugby union career as he received a two year suspension from all forms of professional sport. He successfully returned to rugby league in May 2008 with NRL club St George Illawarra Dragons once his ban expired, playing an additional two
seasons under his old coach at Brisbane, Wayne Bennett, before retiring.

A brutally frank insight into a sporting hero’s fall from grace and his inspirational comeback. “I hope this honest and often confronting story will allow you to fall in love with Wendell all over again.” Wayne Bennett
Superstar Brisbane Broncos and Kangaroos winger Wendell Sailor shocked everyone when he switched codes to play union in 2001. The King of the Wing, whose thunderous runs intimidated anyone in his path, surprised even himself when he was selected for the Wallabies, becoming the first Australian player raised in league to represent his country in both codes. But in 2006, it all fell apart.

During a routine drug test for the Waratahs, he tested positive for cocaine and was banned from the game for two years. And those years away would prove to the toughest challenge of his life. The self-confessed party boy who constantly sought the public spotlight was now forced to do some soul-searching, and most of it wasn’t pretty. But Sailor fought back hard and worked through the shame, throwing himself into charity work and mentoring young people in alcohol and drug awareness programs. With the help of his family and old coach and mentor, Wayne Bennett, he began his path to redemption.

But Crossing the Line isn’t just Sailor’s story as the comeback king. Wendell reveals a dark secret that has haunted him since childhood. He tells us what it’s like to be a black man in a white man’s world and the toll racism takes on elite sport. He shows us how good friends and mentors are so important to our national heroes. And he also demonstrates how crucial the bonds of family – and the love and trust of good people – are for anyone, hero or not.

Paul Vautin Sonia Kruger Libby Trickett David Koch

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